Mark ◦ Chapter 9
1And he told them, "I tell you truly, some of you standing right here will not sleep in the grave before you see God's kingdom of love arrive with power."2Six days later, Jesus took Peter, James and John, and went up a high mountain where they were alone. There, the veil separating heaven and earth was pulled back, and Christ's divine glory shone through his humanity.3His clothing became brilliant — near blinding white, more intensely white than any bleach could ever make them.4And standing right there with Jesus were Elijah and Moses, and they were talking with him.5Peter said to Jesus, "Master, this is incredible, and it is great that we can be here to see it. If you want, we can set up three shelters: one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah."6(Peter was just rambling nonsense, not knowing what to say, because he was so overwhelmed.)7Then a cloud surrounded them, and a voice thundered from the cloud: "This is my precious Son. I love him, so listen to him!"8In an instant — or so it seemed — they looked around and saw no one else there, except Jesus.9On their way down the mountain, Jesus gave them strict orders to keep what they had seen to themselves until the Son of Man had risen from the dead.10They did keep this confidential, only discussing amongst themselves what Jesus meant by "rising from the dead."11They asked Jesus, "Why do theology professors say that Elijah must come first?"12Jesus answered them, "Because Elijah does come first, in order to prepare the hearts and minds of people for the coming of the Son of Man. But if he came to prepare their hearts, why is it written that the Son of Man must suffer so much and be rejected?13Let me tell you, Elijah has come, but they didn't respect him and instead treated him with contempt, just as it was written about him."14When they arrived where the other disciples waited, a large crowd had surrounded them, and theologians who taught a legal theology were arguing with them.15As soon as the people saw Jesus, they were startled with amazement and wonder from the lingering traces of radiance upon him, and they ran to welcome him.16Jesus asked them, "What is this commotion about?"17A man in the crowd answered, "Oh Teacher, I brought my son to you, because some evil has over-taken him and prevents him from speaking.18It comes episodically, and when the evil seizes him, he will fall to the ground, foam at the mouth, grind his teeth, and become stiff. I begged your disciples to drive the evil from him, but they couldn't do it."19With sadness for them, Jesus said, "What a confused and superstitious people you are. How long will I need to be with you before you understand? How long must I endure your suffering? Bring the boy to me."20So they brought the boy to Jesus. When the evil angel saw Jesus, it caused the boy to have a seizure. He fell to the ground, writhing and foaming at the mouth.21"How long has he suffered like this?" Jesus asked the boy's father. "Ever since he was a small child," he answered.22"It has even tried to kill him by throwing him into fire or water. So, if you can do anything to help, please have mercy on us and help the boy."23"'If?' you say?" Jesus prodded. "Those who believe know that all things are possible."24Instantly the boy's father cried out, "I do believe; please help me overcome my doubts!"25When Jesus saw a crowd forming around the writhing boy, he commanded the evil force to leave. "You deaf and dumb deviation from God's design," Jesus said, "I command you, get out of him and stay out!"26The boy seized violently, and with a scream the evil left him. The boy collapsed and was so unresponsive that some said, "He's dead."27But Jesus grasped his hand and the boy stood up.28After Jesus had gone inside, his disciples came to him and asked, "Why wouldn't the evil leave when we told it to?"29He answered, "This type of evil is only overcome by talking with my Father."30They left that place and journeyed through Galilee. Jesus didn't want people to find them,31because he wanted time alone with his disciples to teach them. He said, "The Son of Man is going to be betrayed and turned over to human authority. They will kill him, but after three days he will arise from the dead."32But they didn't understand what he was talking about and were too insecure to ask him to explain it further.33They went on to Capernaum. Once indoors, he asked them, "Now, what were you were quarrelling about on the walk here?"34They squirmed, but didn't answer because they had been arguing over which of them would be the greatest.35Jesus sat down, called the Twelve to him, and said, "If anyone desires to be first in God's kingdom, they must not promote self, but put self last in order to promote the eternal welfare of others — serving the eternal interests of all."36Jesus took a small child in his arms and said to the Twelve,37"Anyone who opens their heart and receives those with childlike trust in the way I would — with love and affection, practicing my methods — also opens their heart to receive me; and whoever opens their heart to receive me, not only receives me, but also the One who sent me."38"Master," John said, "when we came upon a man driving out evil angels by using your name, we told him to stop, because you hadn't specifically called him to be one of us."39Jesus gently answered, "Don't stop him. A person who claims me as the source of their strength and power will not in the next moment ridicule and reject me.40Anyone who is not warring against us is helping us.41The truth is, any person who simply gives you a cup of water because you are a Christian is helping to spread the Remedy, and thus honors me and shares in the reward such love brings.42 "But it is better to drown in the sea with a heavy stone tied around one's neck than to lead one of these little ones who trust me to deviate from God's design for life.43If you have habits of using your hand to sear your conscience and warp your character, then cut them out. It is better to have a healed mind and enter into eternal life as an amputee than have two hands with a warped character and therefore be tormented when the eternal fires of love and truth burn free.44There, 'their worm of selfishness does not die, and the fire of truth and love will burn eternally.' 1 "Their worm of selfishness does not die" is intended to say, "where they do not die to self," or "where selfishness is not removed from their character." Thus, they do not survive when all sin and selfishness is consumed by the life-giving glory of God's fiery presence.45And if you have habits of using your foot to sear your conscience and warp your character, then sever them. It is better to have a healed mind and enter into eternal life lame than have two feet with a warped character and be tormented in the consuming fire of God's life-giving glory.46There, 'their worm of selfishness does not die, and the fire of truth and love will burn eternally.' 2 "Their worm of selfishness does not die" is intended to say, "where they do not die to self," or "where selfishness is not removed from their character." Thus, they do not survive when all sin and selfishness is consumed by the life-giving glory of God's fiery presence.47And if you have the habit of using your eye to look at material that warps your character and sears your conscience, then cut it out. It is better to have a healed mind and enter into eternal life with one eye than have both eyes and a warped character and be cast into torment,48where 'their worm of selfishness does not die, and the fire of truth and love will burn eternally.' 3 "Their worm of selfishness does not die" is intended to say, "where they do not die to self," or "where selfishness is not removed from their character." Thus, they do not survive when all sin and selfishness is consumed by the life-giving glory of God's fiery presence.49 "Everyone will be purified by the eternal fire of love and truth emanating from the presence of the Father — just as salt purifies a sacrifice.50Salt — like love and truth — purifies, but if salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? Likewise, how can a person who loses all desire for love and truth be purified? Have the salt of love and truth in your hearts, and be real friends with each other."